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3 SPECIAL REPORT
Steam turbine bypass systems
Robert W Anderson and Henk van Ballegooyen
10 GENERATION ECONOMICS To maximize profit, keep one eye on the market, the other on your plant
Jason Kram and Doug Logan
13 PROFILE: RAVENSWOOD How to shoehorn 250 MW into a parking lot 17 Predicting gas prices more art than science
19 OPINION We’re government, we’re here to help!
James F Wood
21 POWER MARKETING How deregulated energy markets impact plant revenue, operation
Kristin Domanski and Paul Flemming
23 Assessing the true cost of cycling is challenging
Frank J Berte, David S Moelling, Craig A Udy
25 Condition monitors warn of impending generator failure 27 LONG-TERM SERVICE AGREEMENTS Understanding ‘fine print’ can mean the difference between financial success, failure
Jeff Fassett and Richard E Thompson II 30 33 35 36 User Group Activities Design/Operating Ideas Business Partners Professional Services
How to avoid serious and costly O&M problems. . .3
H R S G S • GAS TURBINES
and Henk van Ballegooyen. maybe One solution to the imbalance between GT not to the artist or the fashion design. vents” during every plant combined-cycle units designed Desuperheated steam is routed to startup incurs costly losses of for base-load service. cisely modulate the bulky During these conditions— bypass damper and comply the ones of greatest concern with National Fire Protection are startup. This permits simple-cycle operation. 100% load. so it uncontrolled onto the steam is installed in very few side. Well. if it were imposed maintenance-intensive. 1-by-1 to atmosphere until the bine (ST). This rapid rates of temperature solution also is capital. Steam-turbine bypass system is steam. Fourth Quarter 2003 3 . but can the marriage of the gas-turstill allow serious thermal bine cycle with the steam-turtransients in the HRSG bine cycle begins to look a bit because it is difficult to preawkward. the quently today than in the past and valve gear. s Incorporate reheat steam. s Operate at high steam temperatures and pressures. HP (A) and IP (C) steam-side metal is properly being encountered more fre. s Feature large GTs with high exhaust flows and temperatures.valve bodies await receipt of actuators warmed up. In addi. small footprint. during transient and low-load conditions. shutdown. and single-digit air emissions. the and shutdown procedures.GT exhaust gas to be vented directly to atmostunately.exhaust heat and the steam system’s thermal traner. phere.to commuch exhaust heat at such bined-cycle operation.cannot use all the steam produced is the “cascading a single ST. not to tion. but to vent it directly (HRSG) and/or the steam tur. it’s an and load-response times.sparger in steam-turbine exhaust duct demineralized water. Gryphon International Engineering Services Inc hen a combined-cycle plant is operats Demand more aggressive startup. would be violated in thickAnother solution is to walled c o m p o n e n t s o f t h e allow the HRSG to generate heat-recovery steam generator 1. the transients are more mention problems with envisevere in magnitude because the latest combined. enabling the water usage. Inattention to detail at the design stage can lead to serious and costly O&M problems By Robert W Anderson. Unfor.ronmental regulators and plant neighbors who cycle plants typically: object to the imposing noise and plume. Such transients are combined-cycle plant. Progress Energy Inc. B is spray water routine use of so-called “sky because of the need to cycle manifold for HP desuperheater. In this scheme. shutdown. high-pressure (HP) superheated steam generated W Cascading bypass system COMBINED CYCLE JOURNAL. but it is to the engineer who can appreciate its sient limits is to install a bypass damper and a unmatched thermal efficiency. elegant thing to behold.being installed at a 250-MW. which significantly The most common method to manage the thermal increases control complexity during plant startup. thermal ramp-rate limits plants. which complicates both startup ing” bypass system (Fig 1).and change that. low bypass stack upstream of the HRSG.SPECIAL REPORT Steam Turbine Bypass Systems A robust condenser dump system is critical to a combined-cycle plant’s ability to respond to transients. imbalance during times when the steam turbine s Include two or three GT/HRSG blocks supply. ing at steady-state. and a Association pre-start purge steam-turbine trip—the gas requirements when transiturbine (GT) is producing so tioning from simple. However.
and into the cold reheat line. the cascading bypass system’s transient characteristics closely resemble the ST characteristics. This recirculation causes a very rapid increase in temperature that can easily exceed the material limits of the ST blading. (A hot start allows faster ramp rates. Fourth Quarter 2003 . and makes the cascading bypass system the less expensive option. through a pressure-control valve (PCV) and an attemperator. instead of being dumped immediately after it has left the HP system. COMBINED CYCLE JOURNAL. Note that a similar solution applied at some combined-cycle units is referred to as “parallel bypass. the HP superheated steam generated during startup is diverted around the HP section of the turbine. But in the parallel design. s When properly designed and tuned. The second pressure-control/attemperating station often is referred to as the “hot reheat bypass” or the “LP bypass” (Fig 2). Another feature of the parallel bypass system is that the spray water for the attemperation process comes only from the condensate pumps. the reheater remains “dry” during startup and receives no cooling from steam flow. without flowing through the reheater. before it is directed through a dump tube into the condenser during startup is diverted around the HP section of the turbine. thereby limiting IP drum level swings. A risk introduced by the cascading bypass system is its potential to cause “windage” overheating of the high-pressure steam turbine during startup and shutdown if the pressure-control valves fail to precisely control HP and reheat pressure. In certain conditions. Other advantages of the cascading bypass system include the following: s Steam flow through the reheater limits the heat input of the HP evaporator (which limits the HP drum transient) during both plant start-up and ST trip. A risk introduced by the cascading bypass system is its potential to cause “windage” overheating of the HP turbine during startup and shutdown if PCVs fail to precisely control HP and reheat pressure. hence there is a small reduction in the efficiency loss with the parallel design. before it is directed through a dump tube (or “sparger”) into the condenser. through a pressure-control valve and an attemperator. designs for some of the combined-cycle powerplants recently installed also include a “startup bypass. s The steam produced is used to warm up the reheater headers and main steam lines. the steam generated at startup in the HP and IP drums is attemperated and sent directly to the condenser.” which connects the HP turbine vent directly to the condenser. After mixing with IP steam and passing through the reheater. which ensures the smallest discontinuities during trip and switch-over situations.” In this design. windage can occur without any indication of trouble to the operator. the dump steam is diverted around the IP and LP turbines through a second pressure-control/attemperating station.SPECIAL REPORT 2. the control valves in both the HP bypass and the hot reheat bypass progressively close and the ST picks up steam load. the steam is diverted around the IP and low-pressure (LP) steam turbines as it travels through a second pressure-control/attemperating station (hence the name “cascading”) located off the hot reheat line. Windage occurs when the pressure ratio through a turbine decreases to a point where steam begins to recirculate internally. he attemperated steam then mixes with steam from the intermediate-pressure (IP) drum and is directed through the reheater. upstream of a check valve in the cold reheat line T charge of both the condensate pumps and the feedwater pumps. and into the cold reheat line. To address the problem. spray water in the cascading bypass system is taken from the dis4 3. The primary job of the PCV is to control HP drum pressure. This second PCV’s primary job is to control reheat steam pressure. In a cascading bypass system. This forces HRSG designers to significantly enhance reheater tube metallurgy. After passing through the reheater. The worst case is a warm start during low-flow conditions. As the ST satisfies its warm-up requirements. thereby limiting thermal stresses on the HP drum—one of the most vulnerable components of the HRSG because of its thick walls. By contrast.
or rotor—the most vulnerable. At a minimum. Fourth Quarter 2003 5 . which has led to a host of themselves. some amount of bypassvalves. But in many or utilize a “linear” trim. the control valves in turbine-bypass systems often experience the following: s Premature trim and body failure caused by a lack of control of fluid velocity along the flow path. Some have even done so within the original valve warranty period. Another risk with cascading-bypass systems is the potential to motor the ST if the cold reheat check valves do not seat properly following an ST trip. because we understand the damage vated temperatures. or the turbine’s steam chest. with a properly sized “constant 5. and inspection of design on the condition of full GT During both normal shutthe block valves. changes as PCVs and attemperation valves open casing. 600F bypass valve bodies are T V COMBINED CYCLE JOURNAL. Cerof their desuperheater spray tainly. Control-valve reliability and service life can be greatly enhanced by installing a warming connection that.occur early in a cold start. But because the tion alone from providing adeinclude annual overhaul of these architect/engineers based their quate valve-body warming. Re-trimming pipe run. during normal combined-cycle operation. perhaps 12 ft or more. s Poor shutoff capability. too. Tight shutoff capability also is essential in the hot reheat bypass control valve to prevent high-temperature steam from leaking through. spray nozzles. limits the difference between steam temperature entering the respective bypass station and the valve-metal temperature thus higher steam flows. s Sluggish operation and sticking because of differential expansion between trim and body. alves need warming. if installed. reliable control from their steam-bypass control valves. pressures. SPECIAL REPORT Members of the HRSG User’s Group also report great difficulty attaining stable. Many owner/operators who were left with low-bid. and poor valve is at the end of a long control response. the systems end up being undersized and thermal liners. the dump downs and trips of the ST. during bottom entry of the pipe. because the valves are designed with out any provision for warming. Yet we often make no allowance for is severe service for the valves the thermal shock that occurs and steam-conditioning equipto the bypass control valves ment. load/full HRSG pressure. HP superThey also experience harsh temperature and flow heater outlet header. into the condenser. In addition to poor process control. poor-performing bypass PCVs by their architect/engineer have been compelled to replace these valves with higher quality equipment. precise. that can occur if we shock the HP drum. with the ST loaded. an effec. The result components. This tive preventive-maintenance pro.) To address this windage problem. when the GT is arrangement precludes conducgram for a cycling HRSG will at minimum load. and internal vibration.the soaking period. That’s a particularly critical problem for cycling plants because the bypass system is expected to perform during every plant startup and shutdown. upstream of a check valve in the cold reheat line (Fig 3). the maximum arranged with the valve above percentage” trim can address this volumetric flows of dump steam the HP steam pipe and with problem. At some plants. some cascading bypass systems also include a “startup bypass. thick-walled suddenly in response to plant transients.” which connects the HP turbine vent directly to the condenser. Cascading bypass systems bypass control valves are there to warm up HRSG handle an immense amount of energy at ele. for example. leak-through. leading plant designs the HP b y p a s s to erosion.4. the HP At HRSG User’s Group meetbypass system’s valve bodies ings. unattemperated. and to avoid efficiency losses during normal operation. Don’t feel like the Lone Ranger if these problems sound familiar. Think about it: The ough on valves. A common problem is that system warming occurs because these valves have been over-sized of heat conduction. Tight shutoff capability in the HP-bypass control valve must be preserved to minimize HP pressure decay during overnight and weekend shutdowns. operations and maintenance During normal operation (O&M) problems in the field. Many controlvalve problems can be attributed to thermal shock.and ST metal. many plant cool to saturation temperamanagers report poor reliability ture—approximately 600F. and velocities. which protect against the overheating effect. spray valves.
Several useful lessons can be taken from that experience and applied to today’s challenges at North American combined-cycle plants. steam inlets to the condenser. ther design improvements . therefore its specific volume is very high (the steam is less dense). steam temperature and pressure are low. A smallbore pipe connected at one end to the bypass valve just upstream of the seat and the other end connected to the valve’s respective main or hot reheat pipe near the ST will supply sufficient steam flow to keep the valves warm. Similarly. Some assume. and condenser-tube nest. logically at first glance. the majority of steam plants installed over the past 50 years featured Benson-type once-through boilers which required 100%-capacity dump systems. many large fossil-fueled North American steam plants have experienced years of successful condenser-dump operation. where routine venting of potentially radioactive steam is not permitted. LP conditions. hot reheat attemperation station. which further reduces steam temperature to approximately 350F. During this soak period. the bypass valve bodies cool. But because the designers of these plants sized the condenser dump system for the condition of full GT load/full HRSG pressure. particularly at boiling-water reactor plants. a temperature differential of around 450 deg F. Bypass valve warming during normal operation can be effectively accomplished without loss of system efficiency or great capital cost. This means that the HRSG is capable of achieving near rated steam production. approximately another 20%. We recommend a differential of 160 deg F before the control valves are allowed to swing wide open. Many North American condenser dump systems are undersized. South Africa. often at lower-than-design steam pressures. and somewhat unique to this plant type. But their bypass systems typically are sized for less than the full-load condition—a usual value is 30% dump capacity—so the demands on their equipment are less severe. This attemperating spray adds mass flow to the fluid stream. the design challenges are formidable. Condenser dump systems have been operating successfully in North America for many years at nuclear plants. the allowable temperature differentials set by HRSG and ST manufacturers between steam and metal temperatures range from 145 to 200 deg F. ump undersized for cold start. To be sure. engineers typically consider the case where the ST trips from full load. Realize that the operators must open these vents COMBINED CYCLE JOURNAL. By comparison. this 140% mass-flow condition requires adequately sized condensate pumps that can remove the larger volume of water from the condenser. perhaps as much as 20% more than the flow through the fully loaded ST. the GT is quickly brought to and held at minimum load for heat soaking of the HRSG (Fig 5). At several plants analyzed. for instance. Similarly. during normal combined-cycle operation. when the plant is off-line. the total mass flow that the condenserdump system must be sized to handle for the case of an ST trip is not 100% of the turbine’s full-load steam flow. On the subsequent startup. O&M lessons to learn Dump undersized for ST trip. But a nuclear plant’s use of saturated steam avoids many of the design challenges found in the superheated. Valves are not the only design weakness found in the condenser dump systems at many combined-cycle plants. The hot reheat bypass spray flow adds yet more mass to the fluid stream. The fluid stream then flows through the reheater and the second. When designing condenser dump systems. that the mass flow will be 100% of the flow through the fully loaded ST. when the GT is at full load and the HRSG is at 100% rated pressure. limits the difference between steam temperature entering the respective bypass station and the valve-metal temperature (Fig 4). But a characteristic of GTs is that they produce a high percentage of their full-load exhaust energy during both ramp-up and operating at low load—perhaps up to 70%. During a cold start. Fourth Quarter 2003 O D . the operators must open the sky vents to supplement their undersized dump system. In Europe. the cold valve bodies experience a high flow rate of hot steam. and Japan. reheat steam systems of a combined-cycle plant. But when the ST trips. designers often assume that the highest steam flow will occur during the latter part of a startup. Use of sky vents also makes pressure control less precise. but as much as 140%. Control-valve reliability and service life can be greatly enhanced by installing a warming connection that. the HP bypass valve opens and attemperating spray is injected to desuperheat the steam from approximately 1050F to 600F. There has been substantial experience with high-capacity dump systems at steam plants outside of North America. When evaluating startup scenarios. the maximum volumetric flows occur at these conditions—early in a cold start when the GT is at minimum load. Another common cause of undersizing condenser dump systems lies in the analysis of startup transients.SPECIAL REPORT suddenly subjected to high flows of steam at 1050F. all the way down to ambient temperature during a long shutdown. In addition to suitably sizing the piping. In sum. when the bypass valves open. which forces operators to supplement their capacity by opening the sky vents and thereby waste valuable demineralized water. while still delivering the warming steam to where it was going in the first place. The additional warming connections still require the installation of startup and shutdown drain lines to be installed in the bypass piping. valves. 6 Design.
dumping into a single condenser. Makes sense. a root-cause analysis showed that tubes hammering against each other. They rationalize this by citing the HEI exception. Another potential problem with the North American practice is that superheated steam has a higher specific volume. A typical F-class 2-by-1 power block is configured with two dump systems of 717. In our experience.4. has been to locate the HRH bypass station closer to the boiler (that is. When the condenser at a North American combined-cycle plant suffered tube failures shortly after commissioning. So the Hobson’s Choice is to waste demineralized water. one per HRSG. which “may be considered upon specific conditions of service. In North America. is the issue of steam quality as it is dumped into the condenser. Acceptance of flows with enthalpy higher than 1225 Btu/lb may be considered depending upon specific conditions of service. shown here on shiny area. there is a significant risk of tripping the ST on high condenser pressure (inadequate vacuum). For starters. by contrast.” But the mechanical damage and process-control problems being experienced in North American plants strongly suggest that this exception does not apply to F-class combined-cycle condenser dump systems. require that steam dumping into a condenser must be superheated. The North American practice. damaging steam velocities may only occur during cold-weather operation. In a 2-by-1 combined-cycle plant. ocation. often ends up with too little surface area in its cooling COMBINED CYCLE JOURNAL. Extra supporting elements had to be retrofit to this unit to dampen the tube movement caused by the condenser dump system (Fig 6). At a minimum. thus the HEI limit of 1190 Btu/lb for “high-flow” systems must a p p l y. Another design lesson that can be learned from overseas experience concerns the location of the bypass station. so the cumulative waste of demineralized water during a cycling plant’s 20-yr service life is going to be enormous. l e a r l y. this concern is overblown. Closely related to the location issue.000 lb/hr. Tube damage. To further enhance condenser-dump design. for the same mass flow rate. particularly the first four tubes closest to the dump-tube inlet.” The EPRI guidelines define “high flow” as greater than 20. . more remote from the condenser) to minimize the use of expensive P91 piping. so the condenser.saturation. The result. The common practice overseas is to locate the hot reheat (HRH) bypass station close to—typically just a few feet away from—the condenser neck. superheated steam has a lower heat-transfer coefficient. during condenser-dump operation.000 to 500. then pressure ramp-rate limits in the HP drum will be violated. During startups and shutdowns. in contrast to European practice. these flow rates far exceed EPRI’s 20.000 lb/hr each. and is the cause of considerable mechanical damage and process-control problems at North American combined-cycle plants.2 states: “Limit the enthalpy of entering steam to no more than 1200-1225 Btu/lb except in the case of high-flow steam dumps where the enthalpy shall be limited to 1190 Btu/lb.000 lb/hr. and therefore a greater velocity than 90% quality steam. necessitate either the use of larger diameter piping or higher steam pressures at the HRH bypass to yield the correct steam pressure entering the condenser. or more. was caused by tubes hammering against each other during turbine-bypass operation during every cold start. owner/operators need to ensure that their designers are adhering to the 1190-Btu/lb enthalpy limit set by HEI and EPRI. whose members include condenser manufacturers. The industry standard in other parts of the world is to dump saturated steam of approximately 90% quality. . dump-steam flow rates from each HRSG typically range from 250. But the resulting longer piping runs of HRH discharge piping. is concerned about erosion that may occur from “wet” steam. The tube-support spacing in condensers is generally designed to handle the lower velocities of 90% quality steam exiting from an operating ST. But the tube-support spacing in condensers generally is designed to handle the lower velocities of 90% quality steam exiting from an operating turbine. and the quality of steam that is dumped into the condenser. which could be several hundred feet in length. was the cause. HEI. In a marginal case. This is to emulate the fluid that is normally discharged into the condenser from the ST exhaust. location.000-lb/hr threshold. North American guidelines.6. then. Fourth Quarter 2003 L SPECIAL REPORT tubes to handle the condenser-dump flow. is a loss of condenser vacuum. If the sky vents are not opened. The specification of superheated steam leads to several problems. It appears that many North American designers are not even adhering to the HEI and EPRI guidelines when it comes to the steam enthalpies that they are allowing to enter the condenser. or shorten HP drum life. recommended guidelines published by the Heat Exchange Institute (HEI) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) require that steam dumped into the condenser from a turbine bypass system must be super heated. HEI 5. hence the supports often are unable to prevent the condenser tubes from hammering against each other when they encounter highvelocity steam from the dump system. we propose that the requirement for superheated 7 C . However many designers are allowing enthalpies of 1250 Btu/lb. if one power block is operating at load and the other is dumping steam through the bypass system. when lower condenser pressures further increase the steam velocity into the tube nests. which was sized for 100% ST load. however.
From these paraoise problems. which enables the precise determina. closed-loop temperature control. hole location. and temperature upstream of the PCV. and Japanese designs. The conand located. parge tube design. while transients are handled by the enthalpy-control which more rapidly positions both the PCV and attemperation valve to yield the correct enthalpy in the bypass. the noise is addressed has been retrofit to some North American plants using noise attenuating trim in the turbine bypass during routine outages. excessive vibrais a feed-forward scheme that measures pressure tion. the valves are released back to steady-state. and other mechanical damage. facilities. but we think this is a less troublesome problem than managing highly superheated steam. and hood height. where the steam tubes. effectively managing the effects of high-velocity water impingement within the condenser remains important. and frequent control 11:00 and 1:00 o’clock positions. Unless RH attemthe sparge tube is peration concarefully designed t r o l . reliable method of attempera. resulting desuperheating spray in higher localized valve is another comsteam velocities mon design weakness than anticipated. with a “hood” excursions. this will trol scheme for the not occur. to the direction of steam will be evenly distributed across the entire area of This temperature-conthe condenser tubes. with the temperature-control scheme handling steady-state conditions. we calculate article. This tube in HRH bypass stations are excessive hunting of has relatively large holes arranged between the the desuperheat-spray valve.” which was last updated in 1982. excessive vibration. If the excursion is large enough. this will not occur. jets of steam that impinge on localized areas of A more precise. The result is fine for the HP bypass higher localized steam velocities that cause localized heat. leading to pipe can produce very powerful. plus an addendum that included new material on turbine bypass in December 2002. Most control tubes extend the full schemes use a simple width of the confeedback loop w i t h denser and are oristeam temperature as ented perpendicular 7. It at combined-cycle is best if sparge plants. HEI published its latest edition (the ninth) of “Standards for Steam Surface Condensers” in 1995. Excessive noise is a final meters and an understanding of the sparge design weakness that we’ll discuss in this tube’s pressure/flow characteristic. For the European.to each side of the tube. but not for sparger are parallel ing. thin materials compared to that of enthalpy-control method. and pressure downstream of the PCV. The increasing use of air-cooled condensers fur- S H N 8 COMBINED CYCLE JOURNAL. be considered.steam jets from the station. But unless the sparge tube is carefully trol method works so that the dumpdesigned and located.denser casing is typically constructed of thermally tion of required attemperation spray. and has eliminated the valve and a downstream dump tube (or sparger) hunting problems that previously plagued these inserted into the condenser. After a short time delay. potentially supersonic erosion and condenser damage. Several cases have surfaced where condenser tube damage was caused by the design of the sparge tube that distributes dump steam into the condenser. South African. majority of the applications. Depending upon hole size. the tube nests. Of course. temperature limit. Sometimes a combination of control schemes can be used. support structures. extensively applied in the turbine-bypass valves and piping. This uninsulated. and force the sky vents to open. it can positioned above these holes to deflect the steam cause the condenser dump system to trip on high. Fourth Quarter 2003 .condenser tubes.SPECIAL REPORT steam published in the HEI and EPRI guidelines be re-evaluated. and other mechanical damage the HRH bypass stato the condenser tion. commonly practiced in other parts of the world. Excessive noise can be generated in dump-system inlet enthalpy and dump-steam the vicinity of the condenser because the conflow rate. Condenser designers typically assume that dump the single variable. The related EPRI publication is “Recommended Guidelines for the Admission of High-Energy Fluids to Steam Surface Condensers. this style of tube or excessive spray to be emitted. and that the use of saturated steam. and side tion control for HRH bypass transient conditions walls—causing localized heating. is close to the saturation point. Condenser designers typically assume that dump steam will be evenly distributed across the entire area of the tube nests. The results of One style of sparge tube that can be particularclosed-loop temperature control during transients ly troublesome is represented in Fig 7.
HP and LP bypass dump systems. and lead-lined acoustic insulation on the bypass valves and piping. Services provided by GIE include conceptual and detail design of steam and power generating plants. several factors must be considered. He is a mechanical engineer who has managed. This work often includes detailed reverse-engineering and testing of existing HRSG superheaters. Canada. and water treatment systems to identify and assess modifications required to allow a given plant to commence cycling duty. a multi-disciplinary consulting engineering firm based in St.SPECIAL REPORT ther aggravates the noise problems. Ont. First. To eliminate or reduce the noise. steam vent systems. drums and economizers. operated. and Mike Pearson of J Michael Pearson & Associates contributed significantly to this report. we designed a solution that included four stages of multi-port pressure-reduction plates. nuclear. and service providers for the advancement of HRSG design. with two stages of attemperation. This steam duct is a very large.-thick wall) piece of pipe that runs along the outside of the condenser support structure. and powerplants for over 30 years—including steam. Henk had extensive powerplant experience in Euro p e . the steam is dumped into a main steam duct that then distributes the steam to finned tube banks located over the forced-draft fans. Raleigh. as multiple turbine bypass valves are used in the majority of condenser-dump designs. condenser and cooling water systems. Fourth Quarter 2003 9 . OEMs. fuel gas system. Finally. operation. the noise from each separate valve and sparger combination must be considered. The next noise formation mechanism that must be accounted for is the sparger. Bob also serves as chairman of the HRSG User’s Group. but the noise must be tightly controlled as the flow dumps into the condenser duct. In an aircooled condenser arrangement. The noise generated in such thin-walled ducts can be enough to cause a plant to exceed noise-permit limits. and gasturbine facilities. steam turbine/generator.5-in. HP and LP piping systems. A smaller pressure drop occurs at this point. thin-walled (typically 0. COMBINED CYCLE JOURNAL. and maintenance. Prior to founding GIE in 1990. systems. Robert W Anderson is Manager of Combined Cycle Services—CT Operation for Progress Energy Inc. and maintained a variety of equipment. is the noise generated by the control valve itself? Noise is generated here because the majority of the system pressure drop occurs inside the control valve. including the design of plants for South Africa. Catharines. For one application with a direct air-cooled condenser and multiple turbine bypass valves where noise from the condenser ducting and air-cooled condenser was of particular concern. Andrew Johnson and James McLeish of Gryphon International Engineering Services Inc. an educational organization that fosters collaboration among users. NC. Henk van Ballegooyen is President of Gryphon International Engineering Services Inc (GIE).
Traditionally. two heatrecovery steam generators (HRSG). and curtail plants. Under the assumed market conditions and unit constraints described above. The uptime constraint means that once the plant starts operating it must continue to do so for at least eight hours. and serve peak-load obligations. or bring plants online to back up energy sales. it must remain offline a minimum of eight hours after each shutdown. Average off-peak prices vary hourly and average around $30/MWh for the year. and variable operating costs for a natural-gas-fired combined-cycle unit consisting of two gas turbine/generators (GT). Gencos must be prepared to fulfill obligations from the energy market and to shut down plants. we optimally commit and dispatch the unit to maximize profits. The convergence of asset operations with energy marketing and trading has created financial opportunities for Gencos that are subject to market fluctuations. Fulfilling native load obligations and minimizing production costs were the primary measures of their operating strategies. the combined cycle’s average heat rate ranges from slightly over 8000 Btu/kWh at the lower operating limit to slightly below 7000 Btu/kWh at the higher operating limit. forward natural gas prices. Gencos operated under cost-minimization and reliability objectives. When economically viable. To understand some of the dynamics that occur. impact operational characteristics. profits from buying and selling excess generation must now be added to the equation. and shut down under unprofitable circumstances. we will examine forward power prices.GENERATION ECONOMICS nities that exist. Thus flexible generators can be measured in value by their ability to capture on-peak price spikes. The resultant operating profile does not violate To maximize profit. together referred to as a “stage”) and the ST producing power. In this example. the unit was assumed to have eight-hour uptime and downtime constraints. a $3/MWh variable operating charge. the other on your plant By Jason Kram and Doug Logan. Likewise. Though this may sound logical and relatively straightforward. onpeak power prices vary hourly and range from $35 to $70/MWh in the summer (June-September) and from $35 to $60/MWh in all other months. The optimization would be similar to one that an energy manager or trader would ask of a plant under the assumed market conditions. The plant cannot operate in the simple-cycle mode but may run in a one-onone configuration with one GT (and its associated HRSG. For this analysis. PCI strategy aimed at maximizing profits through market-driven plant operations demands that generation asset owners simultaneously balance plant optimization against market opportunities. The energy price forecasts presented in Fig 2 are modeled after actual hourly power prices and monthly natural gas prices. The purpose of the analysis that follows is to show how market prices drive certain operational profiles in order to best capitalize on the opportu10 A COMBINED CYCLE JOURNAL. the volatile nature of energy markets and the often inflexible design of some generation assets can create competing interests within generating companies (Gencos) that impact decisionmaking. Today. and a $5000 startup cost hurdle for each stage of the plant. While fulfilling load obligations and minimizing production costs are still part of profit-maximization. Gencos must retool to operate under a profit-maximization strategy. replace generators that were forced out of service. along with unit constraints. keep one eye on the market. replace firm power obligations. As shown in Fig 1. remarket existing fuel contracts. Its focus is on combined-cycle generation and how price-based commitment and dispatch. Fourth Quarter 2003 . Flexible generators were used to accommodate changing demand. and one steam turbine/generator (ST).
It must include the obvious fuel and manpower costs prior to synchronization. In some cases. Specifically. forecasted annual online hours can vary from 3000 to 8300 hours (Fig 4). HRSG. You can see that by increasing the startup cost hurdle. when the startup cost is particularly high the unit will not run at all because it cannot clear the financial hurdle imposed on it. Important: This correlation depends on the market price forecast. or cold. the number of unit startups decreases and the number of online hours increases. It is important to not to overlook the significance of the startup-cost calculation. Annual unit startups are of particular concern to asset owners because as that number increases. On an annual basis. the market projections yield roughly 7300 online hours and 75 startups for the year. B 11 . The challenge in this calculation is that the startup cost depends on the number of starts and the number of starts depends on the startup cost. By altering the market price forecast up and down by 20% the operational statistics can change greatly. Gencos can assess whether the forecasted number of startups and online hours are consistent with expected maintenance intervals and planned maintenance costs. Fourth Quarter 2003 GENERATION ECONOMICS and replacement of key components. a number that is influenced significantly by the actual number of starts the unit is expected to experience in a given time period—for example. the expected life remaining in critical GT. the lower the startup cost the more often traders will be inclined to start the unit. warm. and so-called major inspections). The higher the cost. the startup cost will vary over time and should be recalculated periodically. The number of monthly online hours and number of starts are shown in Fig 3. As shown in Fig 7.any of the previously mentioned unit constraints. The not-so-obvious component of the calculation resides in the OEM-recommended maintenance costs (combustor inspections. COMBINED CYCLE JOURNAL. efore finalizing the number given to power marketers. repair. Furthermore. an increase in the startup cost hurdle can reduce unit online hours. How rapidly components age depends in large measure on how conservatively the startup process is managed and on whether the starts are hot. one year. hot-gas-path inspections. startups from 40 to 110 (Fig 5). and ST components decreases. Plant managers typically are assigned the responsibility for calculating the cost of a startup. the costs associated with these maintenance inspections should be built into the startup cost hurdle. taking advantage of market opportunities that may be of relatively short duration. Fig 6 illustrates the effect that startup cost has on both online hours and unit starts. For this example. as well as a realistic estimate for maintenance. the less likely it will be started. Obviously.
944. By balancing these outcomes both an optimal operating strategy and profit-maximizing strategy can be established. Another valuable exercise is establishing the relative certainty of projected operational statistics based on market price uncertainty. The analysis presented in this article was conducted using PCI’s GenTraderR .T GENERATION ECONOMICS o get a more granular view—down to the hourly level—of how the startup cost hurdle can drive the operational profile of a combined-cycle asset. The next logical step in this analysis is to combine the forecasted operational statistics with profitability for each scenario. In addition to being the lead sales and marketing executive.” The generating asset with the lowest startup cost is capable of turning on when in the money and off when out the money. Kram Logan Jason Kram is VP and Chief Marketing Officerfor PCI. PCI is a leading provider of generation supply management and optimizati on software—including solutions critical for operations and for asset. financial.com/solutions now or fill out and send in the reader response card from this magazine. it increases safety. Fourth Quarter 2003 . The most flexible unit— defined as the one with the lowest startup cost—cycles frequently to capitalize on power price spikes. VP Douglas M Logan ’s role at PCI involves asset valuation. Here’s the part you know: As hydrogen purity drops. That is. he heads strategic consulting in several generation optimization areas. The worldwide leader in monitoring and detection systems for electric generators. Logan has been affiliated with the energy industry for more than 25 years. ramp rates. But rising gas prices have relegated many to cyclic operation and their online hours are far fewer than planned. and risk management. the generation asset is “in the money. examine the two-week commitment profile in Fig 8. For more information visit www. Inc. Several units that have recently gone into service were designed to run 7000 hr/yr or more. the generation asset is “out the money” and if the energy price is above the generation cost. And maintaining hydrogen at safe. CCJ Are you having impure thoughts? Maintain your hydrogen purity with E/One’s Generator Gas Analyzer (GGA) You can’t underestimate the importance of monitoring hydrogen. resulting in higher operating costs. nonexplosive levels not only enhances efficiency. As combined-cycle units gain operating experience. with little constraint. the true cost of cycling will become more apparent and drive more critical evaluation of the operating profile that market-based operations dictate. Note that the generation cost line depicts the so-called “at the money” position of the generation asset. Nearly half of all the power generation in the US is optimized with the 11-year-old company’s software. if the energy price is below the generation cost. startup profiles. There are several times when the unit stays online even though it is out the money because of unit constraints that consist of minimum up and down times. Company UTILITY SYSTEMS 12 COMBINED CYCLE JOURNAL. These exercises and others will be examined in future articles. and subject-matter e x p e rtise in product development. (+1) 800. The unit with the highest startup cost must have adequate financial justification in the market to overcome its high startup cost and must incur additional market losses since it has less flexibility. high-level consulting.eone. etc. windage losses increase. These profitability outcomes can be measured against costs for incurring multiple startups.6160 ext 3028 A PCC Flow Technologies. But did you know that E/One has a customized system to monitor hydrogen and purge gases? Our Generator Gas Analyzer (GGA) is designed for application with any generator in use today and can be supplied as a stand-alone monitor or as part of a larger system.
The engineering ACC during periods of firm.supplies three 98-in. Organized public opposition to the project appeared early in 2000. “KeySpan has a focused strategy to seek opportunities to develop generating capacity in the New York metropolitan area. Fourth Quarter 2003 13 . Bear in mind that the dual-fuel Unit 30 is mark on that plan. He encouraged the repowering and MW “Big Allis” to permit full-load operation on expansion of existing facilities rather than con.” Kosel challenged the company’s environmental engineers to reduce further the emissions of nitrogen oxides (NO x ) from Ravenswood’s existing steam generators so there would be no increase in discharges from the site when the combined-cycle unit was operating. Butterfly-type isolation Development Corp. P COMBINED CYCLE JOURNAL.-diam dent.4-acre parking lot. He said. we will continue to be good neighbors and work Robert B Catell closely with local communities. NY) 250-MW Ravenswood combined-cycle plant will be the first major generating unit commissioned in New York City in more than a decade when it begins startup testing at the end of the year. senior vice presi. KeySpan worked closely with citizen groups to address their concerns. Burns & Roe Enter. Conceptual design of the combined-cycle unit began in the summer of 1998. Jr. Oradell. combined-cycle unit according to Howard A terminates in a header that Kosel. But it is just the first step in a building plan announced by Chairman and CEO Robert B Catell more than two years ago (see sidebar). The only space on the site to build the combined cycle was a 2. announced in April 2000. KeySpan Paccione acquired the Ravenswood plant in mid June 1999 and filed a pre-application report with the NYS Board on Electric Generation and the Environment—better known as the siting board—for the new unit a few weeks later.” Catell was convinced long before KeySpan closed on the purchase from Consolidated Edison Co of NY Inc (ConEd) of the existing 2160-MW Ravenswood facility’s three steam units and peaking gas turbines. says Project Engineer Richard J Paccione. Richard J The licensing process. when KeySpan was The 170-in. Mayor Michael R Bloomberg echoed that need in a speech August 1 rogram involved burner modifications and when he called for the addition of 3000 MW by installation of close-coupled overfire air. 385-MW Units 10 struction of greenfield generating plants. KeySpan Energy risers. Queens. and 20 had been equipped to burn 100% gas previThe blackout on August 14 put an exclamation ously. It included a modification of the design during the licensing process to go from once-through cooling to an aircooled condenser (ACC).one or two sections of the erplants.natural gas. that additional generating resources would be needed to help assure New York City’s economic growth.PROFILE Profile: KeySpan Corp’s Ravenswood Combined Cycle Powerplant. plus 2008 to accommodate growing demand and replace changes on Unit 30.valves are installed in the two ness unit responsible for outside risers to shut down building the company’s pow. The solution. was contracted to assist KeySpan in developing a con- K ceptual design.-diam steam still investigating the pur. was the implementation of a $9-million Air Quality Improvement Program (AQuIP) at the c i t y ’s largest powerplant despite the fact that Ravenswood was already operating well below permit limits.reduced steam flow prises Inc. Primary issues were related to air quality in northwestern Queens.duct riser on the north side chase of Ravenswood’s exist. The assignment was challenging. the busi. In so doing. the well-known 1000aging units. and the only place available for the ACC was above the plant. NY How to shoehorn 250 MW into a parking lot eySpan Corp’s (Brooklyn. NJ.of Ravenswood’s new ing generating assets. The 40-year-old. Kosel says a consistent theme of the public hearings was that “if you build a new plant you should offset its emissions by shutting down an existing facility or reducing pollutant discharges elsewhere.
the heat-recovery steam generator (HRSG). voluntary cleanup agreement with the NYS Dept such as the fan modules for the ACC. the first things KeySpan uncovered during Whitestone. improvements into the Engineer/constructor operation of its existing Stone & Webster Inc. as of Environmental Conservation. based in New York City. but no contract has been and relocating the fuel-oil supply line to ConEd’s signed to date and the auxiliary equipment needed 74th St steam station in Manhattan.site was the first task and that was tem Operator) to generate a certain percentage of painstakingly slow. This included the bined-cycle plant. ment to integrating was installed instead.Marzonie. about 750 tons/yr. preparation. gas. Fourth Quarter 2003 . These. including one from Even a standard open-air. unit is designed as a cogeneration facility. says VP McCabe. including the public outreach effort. a unit These dramatic improveof Shaw Group Inc. gram. the company well as the turbines.next five months dealing with the underground date the future implementation of an export steam infrastructure.8-kV received accolades for its steam turbine/generator emissions-reduction instead of the normal two. its survey work for the combined-cycle addiStone & Webster stored equipment at various tion was that the site formerly was the location of locations around the city. says Project Manager Jim system tied into ConEd’s Manhattan district heat. To illustrate: Open space was at such a once the public’s concerns were addressed by AQuIP. to support the major equipment. is the equivalent of shutKeySpan received approval from Brian T ting down a 350-MW generating station. with both land and sea access. which In New York State. effort. NO x reduction from the upgrade pro. VP of Generation challenging because the site offered virtually no layDevelopment. and an SF 6 gas-insulated said. The company sions in response to the arrangement of components in the system installed arranged a just-in-time needs of the environment at Ravenswood inventory system with and the community.PROFILE required by the New York ISO (Independent Sys. Underground infrastructure. It can accommo. Such facilities were relatively common NJ. minated. came the installation of 300 caissons. and the ACC steam ducts. subassemblies for shipped contaminated soil and excavation materi. So down space. crisscrossed the area and had installed as a conventional 1-by-1. Stoughton. Some prewhen gas lighting was popular. Mass. Next. the Natural Resources 138-kV electrical substaDefense Council. One of ty by General Contractor Slattery Skanska Inc. NY. S 14 COMBINED CYCLE JOURNAL. licensing are handled by the siting board’s Article X Construction at Ravenswood was particularly process. Mapping the to deliver that steam will not be installed now. which has a applauded for its commitmuch smaller footprint. premium that there was only room for one step-up KeySpan moved quickly transformer to serve both through the licensing the 18-kV gas turbine/geneffort. both Combined-cycle design. Ravenswood’s new live and abandoned electrical cable and oil. but and water pipelines. onreally can reduce emis. explains Brian T McCabe.tional diagram that does not accurately portray the site and off.dump was at an old navy pier facility in Bayonne. After executing a assembly was done in Bayonne. ing system and the replacement of 50-yr-old pack. two-shaft comto be removed or relocated. large als to a licensed remediation facility. roof-mounted ACC. but its biggest supply a manufactured gas plant and the soil was conta. “KeySpan is to be substation.drilled 12-15 ft into bedrock located 15-20 ft below aged boilers owned and operated by ConEd.or leaving the site. generators. It involved handits electricity with low-sulfur oil—the exact digging a trench about 5 ft deep amount depends on load—to ensure continuity of around the construction area to see operation in the unlikely event that gas supply is what facilities were either entering interrupted.” deliveries by land and water to support three days of construction activiite preparation and construction. facilities at Ravenswood. all elements of powerplant includes the 3500-ton. says ProEconomist Ashok Gupta. ject Engineer Paccione. were delivered But that was not the last hurdle impacting site to the plant dock on the East River by barge. The company erator and the 13. Senior tion wouldn’t fit. the siting board to begin construction McCabe The Ravenswood combined cycle also was in September 2001 and spent the designed for cogeneration service. It is capable of supplying up to 1 rerouting—without disrupting service—of two million lb/hr of steam to ConEd’s extensive distribuhigh-pressure gas lines supplying the existing site tion network in Manhattan. piping. manments show that energyaged the delivery and producing companies Operation of the ACC is illustrated above in funcstorage of equipment. grade.
a conventional nuclear powerplant with a pressurOne of Ovation’s benefits is that its connectivity ized-water reactor. to supply the kettle calculations. and a data historian.seamless. ment age. Rick Marchionda.5-ft-deep roof girders—to The combined-cycle unit is designed for high reliability. The plant’s digital control Air-cooled condenser. Kusatsu City. currently blanked-off. Pittsburgh. HRSG. and the steam/turbine generator is a 85-MW unit from Alstom. Only proven components were specified.PROFILE software platform for its Ovation expert control system. steam at the intermediate-pressure superOperator workstation graphics and feaheater outlet. Control system. its systems. and low amine compounds. and plants that filled domestic shops at the time switchyard control house. and reliable operation of the plant.the gas turbine. For example. performance takeoff. challenged site. and record process data received NOx emissions to 2 ppm with 5 ppm ammonia slip.Performance calculations are run periodically for istry specifications for export steam which disal. T COMBINED CYCLE JOURNAL. The DCS ing Technology Inc. and system One final point: When operating in cogeneration upgrades. The kettle boiler concept also fuel is higher than in most areas of the nation. It has Ravenswood control room interface with remote I/O significantly more surface area than the standard cabinets located in the ACC electrical building. he supplementary-fired (duct burners from four operator stations. These specs could not have integrated plant to determine the following: been met easily had an extraction steam system s Equipment efficiency as it relates to equipbeen selected. optimized for cogeneration service. says Marchionda.anteed performance. Ga. The building’s large structural features the manufacturer’s recently enhanced members—including 10. like the HRSG. Midlothian.trol systems provided by the major equipment tem.Balcke-Durr ACC. High-quality. It operates on a Fast Ethernet network. Louisville. Fourth Quarter 2003 15 . Burlingame. mation on their Ovation workstations in real time. Overland Park. Use of remote I/O of order. says that the system controls process variables as required for safe. The 171-MW gas turbine is the popular Model 7FA+e from GE Power Systems. steam turbine. Emerson’s project manager for the Ravenswood project. Calif) HRSG tem station. Atlanta. has an approximate heat rate of 6500 Btu/kWh (based on the fuel’s lower heating value) in combined-cycle service as now arranged. Ovation is a key component of Emerson’s PlantWeb digital plant architecture for the power generation industry. an asset-management-sysCoen Company. was sourced from Japan because of its unique Four redundant controllers located in the design to accommodate cogeneration service. compressor electrical room. service with maximum steam flow of 1 million s Actual equipment performance versus guarlb/hr to the district heating system. The most distinguishsystem. Pa. Demineralized water is used only for normal The system’s ability to continually track perforHRSG makeup and for water injection into the mance is a particularly valuable management tool gas-turbine combustor for NO x control when in an area like New York City where the cost of kerosene is burned. used for general process supervision. h-p steam line has a 12-in. put from the steam turbine/generator drops to s Impact of changing conditions and/or methods about 10 MW. efficient. from hundreds of field sensors and communicaAqueous ammonia is the reagent. from Emerson Process Management’s mounted on the roof of the totally enclosed. was of a custom design to ing feature of the Ravenswood combined cycle is its accommodate both the combined-cycle and cogen. and some 20-psig steam. Ovation is designed to safely bring the plant from cold startup to the desired operating condition and then back to cold shutdown. avoided problems associated with ConEd’s chem. The cycle. Va. is Ravenswood’s 20-in. Shell-and-tube kettle boilers facilitate plant management and maintenance work much like the steam generators supplied for decisions. Kan. Ky. says McCabe. The tures built into the historian and asset manselective catalytic reduction (SCR) system Jim Marzonie agement system enable the DCS to monitor. the HRSG is a non-reheat unit built by Kawasaki Thermal Engineering Co. h-p steam from features give operators a fully integrated console the HRSG would be the heating medium to boil with the same look and feel as the standalone contreated city water for the steam distribution sys. the kettle boilers avoid face to GE’s Mark VI gas-turbine control system is the expense of using demineralized water to pro. including boilers (not installed) that would produce steam sequence-of-events recording and diagnostics to for the ConEd main. of operation. the Ethernet intersteam distribution grid. ACC. Since there is no return system on ConEd’s manufacturers. and individual components. spacePower & Water Solutions division. provided with the HRSG is designed to limit d i s p l a y. under a license from Vogt Power International. Japan. The triple-pressure Ravenswood saved KeySpan a considerable amount of HRSG produces 1435-psig/1000F at the highmoney by eliminating field wiring from these pressure (h-p) superheater outlet. allowing operators access to all GT inforduce export steam. tions links. electrical out. and record-keeping. maintenance procedures. which is selected. relying on seven human/machine interfaces (HMIs)—one engineer/database server. This information. 155-psig locations back to the control room. boilers for cookie-cutter type combined-cycle HRSG. manufactured by Marley Cooleration configurations.
a subsidiary of UK-based International Power plc. About three-quarters of the way to the roof. The main riser delivering steam to the ACC is equipped with spargers for receiving high-. Calif. because its so-called Drag technology eliminates problems of noise. At other ACC-equipped plants. which also includes pressure-reduction/desuperheating stations within the plant proper. give Ravenswood the fortress-like appearance of powerplants built a half-century ago. thereby permitting nighttime operation of the bypass system. the unit at Brookhaven a year later. was provided by Control Components Inc. announced in early September the formation of a joint venture to build powerplants on Long Island—this in response to the Long Island Power Authority’s (LIPA) RFP for new generating capacity issued last spring. CCI’s equipment was specified. Interconnection. The CCI system is designed to meet Ravenswood’s 55-dBA requirement 1000-ft from the plant. In addition. CCJ COMBINED CYCLE JOURNAL. ANP. an existing breaker in the ring bus had to be replaced and elevated. Mass. The sixth. The exhaust steam header at the top of the A-frame distributes steam to the tube bundles and the condensate produced drains to 2-ft-diam manifolds at the bottom of the legs. gas insulated substation. ANP received certification for a 540-MW plant in Brookhaven in August 2002. Fourth Quarter 2003 . the company is under contract to LIPA to operate its electric system. and American National Power Inc.PROFILE KeySpan. Substation modifications were performed by contractors under the direction of KeySpan personnel who worked in close cooperation with ConEd. Noise. is of major concern to owners of powerplants close to load centers. Noise normally associated with the operation of ACCs is muted by the selection of variablespeed fan drives and the selection of specially designed “quiet” fan blades. it is not unusual to find noise levels of 110 dBA near the condenser ducting and 70 dBA three-quarters of a mile from the facility. and low-pressure steam during turbine bypass at startup. Rancho Santa Margarita. the largest distributor of natural gas in the Northeast with nearly 2. Brooklyn. Each module. Engineers were time-challenged to redesign equipment—such as the main and auxiliary transformers. features a counter-flow arrangement where uncondensed steam bubbles trapped in the collection headers are vented upward while the condensate produced flows in the opposite direction.5 million customers. Plus. An order granting amendment of the Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need was issued in July 2002 and an amended System Impact and Reliability Study was submitted by KeySpan and approved by both the ISO and ConEd. The venture combines KeySpan’s proposed 250MW Spagnoli Road project and ANP’s proposed 250-MW Brookhaven facility. The 138-kV cable was energized in September 2003. KeySpan. Marlborough. Note that five modules per row have parallelflow tube bundles in which the steam and condensate flow downward. in turn. rrangement of the ACC is this way: Three Ashaped condensing rows operating in parallel each have six modules of the type shown in the drawing. The bypass system. NY. a decision was made by KeySpan to petition the siting board and the New York ISO to change the electrical interconnection point from ConEd’s 345-kV Rainey substation north of the site to the 138-kV Vernon substation on the south side. is served by eight finned-tube bundle assemblies and one variable-speed fan. KeySpan was cleared to build its facility in Melville last May. A second unit at Brookhaven could be built for service in 2008 if market conditions warrant. has a portfolio of generating assets in excess of 4000 MW. ANP form venture to build powerplants K eySpan Corp. Current plans are for Spagnoli Road to begin commercial operation in 2006. as well as a fiberoptic communications link to the Vernon substation. Long-term power-purchase agreements would be part of the deal. intermediate. says Project Engineer Paccione. called a reflux module. The SIRS demonstrated that fault-current impacts were less connecting to the 138-kV system than to the 345-kV system. both of which have been approved by the NYS Board on Electric Generation and the Environment—the so-called siting board. The rooftop location dictates that exhaust from the steam turbine be routed to a 14-ft-diam riser attached to the outside of the plant’s north wall. of course. is also the largest investor-owned electric generator in New York State. accommodate the A C C ’s 7-million-lb operating weight. and the dielectric cable—to accommodate this change. During plant construction. Reflux tube bundles increase condensing efficiency. which serves more than a million customers. 16 A and vibration associated with some other types of dump systems. erosion. Modifications approved by ConEd included addition of a new breaker position and associated relay protection house. the riser connects to a header that distributes steam to the three 8-ft-diam risers serving individual sections of the ACC (photo). Air is drawn in an upward direction through louvers on the supporting structure and directed through the tube bundles.
Generating company profits depend on their ability to understand the fundamentals of natural gas supply and demand and to read accurately the “tea leaves” on market intangibles. when demand increases. The high value the US places on natural gas may provide the financial wherewithal to drive a substantial expansion of the international market for LNG. However. exploration and production activity is reduced thereby paving the way for shortages and higher prices in the future. and possibly will continue to do so through September. shipping charges begin to exceed the liquefaction cost. Likewise. where gas is liquefied at remote gas fields and transported to consumers by ship. This may result both in a reduction in the cost of LNG export and import facilities and the development of natural gas as a true commodity. if storage injections decline to “normal” fill levels. For shipping distances less than 6000 miles. The result would be a worldwide liquid and competitive LNG market. However. increasing both spot and longer-term prices. the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex) natural-gas futures (from August 2003) are higher than Platts Research & Consulting’s (PR&C) price forecast until winter 2005 (Fig 1). s Rocky Mountains. Platts expects the dynamics of the tangible fundamentals to rationalize market behavior over the long term. s The business climate—that is. flat growth in US gas production in third quarter 2003 could generate concerns relative to future gas deliverability after the preliminary third-quarter producer reports become available. market psyche cannot. including these: s Timing effects of natural gas exploration and production. The delivered cost of LNG is the sum of the wellhead price. the cost of liquefaction. PR&C’s view is that the Nymex futures are out of synch with supply/demand fundamentals. and regasification cost. s Weather. Predicting gas prices more art than science By Ken Walsh. Fourth Quarter 2003 E The timing and competitive economics of each of these incremental sources is at the core of the uncertainty in today’s gas markets. LNG. and/or s The Arctic region. increases or decreases in commercial and industrial manufacturing activities requiring gas as a fuel or feedstock. two sources stand out as having the potential to significantly impact the price on natural gas for years to come: LNG and the proposed Alaskan pipeline projects. For example. For instance. s Oil prices. One impact of a colder-than-normal winter would be to increase gas flow to storage caverns during the refill period from April 1 to October 1. s Eastern Canada (Sable Island). Today. such as “perception. which should help mitigate fuel risk and foster the development of natural-gas-fired powerplants worldwide.NATURAL GAS Demonstrating the influence of the market’s perception of where the price for natural gas should be. This also would work to drive natural gas prices up at the beginning of the heating season. A warm summer means increased gas consumption to support higher electrical demand. the market could perceive a short-term tightening in North American gas supply thus putting upward pressure on the price of naturalgas futures. shipping charges. beyond 6000 miles. COMBINED CYCLE JOURNAL. . increasing spot prices.” Natural gas supply and demand are influenced by many factors. next month. The increased supply necessary to meet growing demand will likely come from one or more of the following: s Deep water sources in the Gulf of Mexico. An increase in oil prices tends to push gas prices higher because the two fuels compete with each other in most markets and gas prices can be raised without adversely impacting market share. Consultant xecutives responsible for the purchase of fuel for gas-turbine-based powerplants need to know what the price of natural gas will be tomorrow. the liquefaction capital costs 17 s Imported liquefied natural gas (LNG). liquefaction is the largest component in the LNG cost equation. However. next year— and why prices are moving in a given direction. when gas prices fall. Since the late 1980s. gas storage injections ran about 1 billion ft 3/day (Bcfd in gas-industry parlance) above “nominal” in July and August. New gas. enormous amounts of natural gas sit untapped in the ground while traditional gas basins in the US are reaching maturity or in decline. While the cause and effect relationship of supply and demand fundamentals can be monitored and also forecasted in the short term. s Western Canada.
approximately 4 Bcfd. Energy legislation introduced by the Republicans would allow the development of the ANWR area and therefore potentially bring additional natural gas supplies through at least one of the proposed or existing Alaskan pipelines to the lower 48 states. It addresses issues concerning the interaction between all major components of the combined cycle power plant . which requires constant vigilance. s The Mackenzie Va l l e y pipeline. and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)—are areas with tremendous potential for oil and gas development.combinedcycleusers. engineering companies.Impact on Design and Operation • Considerations of cycling base load designed CCGT Plants • Start up Emission impacts • Gray market equipment • Topics from the Floor The Combined Cycle Users Group is developing a data base of power plants. But there are the more supply/demand fundamental or tangible pieces of information that provide the underlying price support in the market. 1. Join today on the web site www. In summary. Alaskan gas. HRSG and steam turbine. a library of articles and a chat room where members can exchange experiences. Market fundamentals should help determine the overall direction of natural gas prices over the short-term and long-term depending on the planning horizon.org or contact: 18 COMBINED CYCLE JOURNAL. the National Petroleum Reserve—Alaska. CCJ The Combined Cycle User Group has been formed in cooperation with the ASME Power Division Combined Cycles Committee. Canada. the Arctic Outer Continental Shelf. However.2 to 2 Bcfd. if you want to know where natural gas prices are going to go in the short-term and long-term and why. Although the region has become a political hot potato. Fig 2 forecasts the Henry Hub price based on an anticipated 2005 build-out of the LNG market infrastructure (Scenario 1) and with potential production volume flowing to the US market through whichever Alaskan pipeline is built (Scenario 2). the ELECTRIC POWER Conference and other industry groups. Three potential pipeline projects being investigated would deliver natural gas from the Arctic supply region to existing pipelines in Alberta. it is apparent from Fig 2 that gas supply deliveries from the Arctic region will have a dramatic effect on gas price futures. These issues are critical at a time when many plants must operate on razor thin margins and in modes for which they were not designed.NATURAL GAS declined from about $300–$400/ton per year to $200. These are the “market perceptions” or psychological mind games that cause some of the volatility. natural gas flowing from the Arctic region will flood the North American natural gas market and thus have a dramatic effect on gas prices. Economies of scale and improved technology could reduce costs to as little as $150 in the near future. 2 to 5 Bcfd. OEMs and other relevant stakeholders. s The Dempster Lateral of the Beaufort Sea and Mackenzie Valley pipeline. Fourth Quarter 2003 . keep and eye on the factors that drive the demand for and supply of natural gas.the gas turbine. Regardless of which pipeline is actually constructed. Again. there are forces in the market that like to spook the price of commodities such as natural gas for their own short-term benefit. They are: s The Alaskan Natural Gas Transportation System or “Alaska Highway” pipeline. Membership is free of charge until next April and is open to power plant owner/ operators. The group's annual meeting will address topics such as: • Design aspects of the new breed of merchant plants • Construction techniques for new generation • Start up and commissioning issues • Operational considerations to maximize the return on investment while providing reliable power • Staffing ideas to keep your valued and best employees • Maximizing efficiency and output to respond to the day's demand requirements • HAPS .
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